don’t shoot the messenger: gun violence in America

I’m starting to wonder if we’re ever going to get a grip on gun violence.

In the past few days alone, a one-year-old baby was shot in the face and killed in his stroller, and a 107-year-old man was shot dead by police after a shoot-out in his home.

Here in Boston, there have been 123 shootings in the five months since the Marathon Bombing.

created by Jamarhl Crawford for Image grab from Sept. 8, 2013.

It feels scary for me to speak out about gun violence and gun control, because the “other side” is the type who pack heat when they go to Starbucks, say, or to church.

How “free” are you when you feel you must carry a gun everywhere to feel safe? That doesn’t feel like freedom to me.

Not to mention, you look ridiculous.

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I hope to God that’s decaf

Guns, knives and other weapons are magnets for violence. They draw bad energy toward you. Why keep something so negative in your home, around your children?

When my family was stuck inside for the city-wide lock-down during that terrible week after the Boston Marathon bombing, I got a few choice comments on my Facebook page along the lines of “You liberals must want to rush out and buy some guns now so you’ll feel safer.”

Um, not really!

As one letter to the Financial Times stated shortly after Newtown,

“…When everyone has a gun then, indeed, everyone is individually more powerful, but collectively everyone is less safe. All this suggests that ‘Americans are getting fonder and fonder of firearms’ because first, they feel insecure and threatened, and second, they make the mistake of thinking that the very real power bestowed on individuals by firearms makes them collectively more secure and less threatened. It does not.”

How many assault rifles and rounds of ammo does one need? If you want a gun, at least agree to a thorough background check. You have a driver’s license, right? It’s time we, on a national level, license and run checks on people who want firearms. Someone who wouldn’t qualify to buy a gun in Massachusetts shouldn’t be allowed to buy firearms in New Hampshire and bring them back here to kill people. Someone who would qualify wouldn’t be any worse off, while everyone would benefit.

I understand that guns and hunting are part of American culture. My son is fascinated with guns and can identify most makes and models on sight. As a matter of fact, while I was working on this post, I found this on my iPhone after he borrowed it:

kids google the darnest things...


Haven’t enough children been shot to death or gravely injured–this month?!

The arms race. As of September, 2013, the counter reads over 8,000.

The arms race. The counter now reads over 8,000. billboard on the Mass Pike in Boston.

Do you honestly believe that the overwhelming level of gun violence we’re living with now is what the Founding Fathers envisioned for our society when they wrote the Second Amendment?

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trigger finger

Gun violence costs America in countless ways. Besides the obvious health care costs ($17 million has been spent so far on Aurora survivors alone), think of all the lost economic value of Americans killed and maimed by firearms. What if one of the children shot in Newtown or Boston had discovered a cure for cancer, or had been our next Steve Jobs? What would that have been worth?

I keep thinking about the aptly named Antoinette Tuff, the bookkeeper who stopped a 20-year man from going on a killing spree at an elementary school in Georgia last month—by talking to him, not by shooting him.

Have you listened to Antoinette’s 911 call?

“It’s okay, baby. I love you!”

Without Antoinette, we probably would have had another Sandy Hook Elementary on our hands. Or worse. Imagine if the teachers or school administrators had been armed. Don’t kid yourself: it would have escalated quickly into a chaotic bloodbath.

Love is the answer, baby. Not more guns.